Print

Print


Yesterday Ron Payne and I surveyed from the Bridport shore Lake 
Champlain birds spread from Goose Cove south to Jones Dock and Giards 
Bay, a lake distance of about 3.5 miles.  Lake bird numbers continue to 
increase in this part of the lake south of the Champlain Bridge.

Highlights of the day were two Pacific Loons in non-breeding plumage.  
One was close enough for excellent viewing slightly northwest of Jones 
Dock.  The other was more distant, in New York waters west of Goose Bay 
about 1.4 miles southeast of the Champlain Bridge.  Given their 
propensity to travel long distances above and (often) below water even 
while being observed, their locations may change within this area 
frequently.

Scaup numbers have increased to over 4100, with a very high proportion 
(apparently 90% or more) being Lesser Scaup.  They were somewhat 
scattered in seven smaller rafts plus one large group of 3000 (counted 
by 50s).  The scattering was likely enhanced the morning's hunter 
activity.  Common Goldeneye have begun to assemble; we counted 216.  In 
total there were 15 waterfowl species (see below), including a couple 
Northern Shovelers.  Nearly 600 Ring-billed Gulls were dispersed among 
the various scaup rafts plus in thin streams traveling along the 
shoreline.  The only other gulls seen were three Herring Gulls.  We 
spotted a single Bald Eagle.

Laboring into a stiff west wind, a Peregrine Falcon weighted down with a 
freshly caught Rock Pigeon in its talons made slow progress crossing 
Lake Champlain, apparently in the attempt to avoid a cruising 
Rough-legged Hawk.

Waterfowl numbers are below.

Ian
===========
Waterfowl:

Scaup      4100 (apparently 90% or more being Lesser Scaup)
Canada Goose      781
Common Goldeneye       216
Mallard       153
Bufflehead      27
Hooded Merganser     18
American Black Duck     10
White-winged Scoter      8
Black Scoter      8
Common Loon      4
Pacific Loon      2
Gadwall      2
Green-winged Teal      2
Ring-necked Duck      2
Northern Shoveler      2

Double-crested Cormorant      4